May 16, 2022

Gallery tours and public programming recognize the power and impact of museums

Libraries and Cultural Resources celebrates International Museum Day May 18 at Founders’ and Nickle Galleries
Founders’ Gallery: Currencies of Conflict.
Founders’ Gallery: Currencies of Conflict. Dave Brown

On Wednesday, May 18, hundreds of artworks and artefacts from Libraries and Cultural Resources collections will be featured in exhibition tours for International Museum Day at both LCR galleries Nickle Galleries in the Taylor Family Digital Library and Founders’ Gallery at The Military Museums of Calgary.

Every year on May 18, the International Council of Museums celebrates the important role museums play in cultural exchange, in the enrichment of cultures and in the development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace.

According to the council, “Museums have the power to transform the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas — two essential steps in building a better future.”

Tours at Nickle Galleries are free, and tours at Founders’ Gallery are open to the public and free with admission to The Military Museums. Nickle Galleries is located on the main floor of the TFDL; Founders’ Gallery is located at The Military Museums, 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary. Read about full event details.

Nickle Galleries, a recognized public gallery and museum, currently features four exhibitions drawing from its extensive numismatic collection, its collection of modern and contemporary art from Alberta, as well as two solo exhibitions by Calgary artists Brian Flynn and Sandra Sawatzky. Learn more about all four shows.

Currencies: Much more than monetary denominations

At Founders’ Gallery, the latest exhibition marks more than 10 years of UCalgary’s very tangible engagement with The Military Museums and its community. Created and organized by Dick Averns of Founders’ Gallery, Currencies of Conflict demonstrates that currencies are much more than monetary denominations. More important, they are a means of establishing value that can circulate, exert influence, and be exchanged.

Currencies of Conflict presents an astounding array of objects and art spanning four millennia, all drawn from the collections of Libraries and Cultural Resources. The exhibition addresses multiple questions and impacts of conflict through works of art, propaganda, Indigenous art, textiles and numismatics (coins, currency and tokens).

Numismatics on display include the earliest minted coinage from ancient Greece depicting military leaders, arrowheads used for bartering, and Second World War concentration camp currency. Weaponry features Middle Eastern ceramic grenades from the 11th century, Aztec axes, and a Zulu spear.

Examples from the First World War Propaganda Collection in Archives and Special Collections feature wartime pamphlets and recruitment posters as well as rare Second World War original Nazi propaganda artwork salvaged from the Reichstag during the fall of Berlin. Artworks span a century, from official war art of the Great War to unofficial war art in the Cold War, alongside Canadian Indigenous art highlighting conflict on the home front and contemporary art addressing global fracture. Collectively, these incredible examples of material culture and art allow learning opportunities across cultures.

Tours for International Museum Day start at noon on Wednesday May 18 at Nickle Galleries, with four 15-minute programs delivered by curators and artists. Staff and artists will then be on hand for informal conversations and to answer questions. Tours at Founders’ Gallery begin at 3 p.m. through to 5 p.m.